What types of communication tools would need to be utilized when providing remote care via digital platforms?

In my work with healthcare technology companies and provider organizations, I often come across the question of “Which communication tools for telehealth and remote care are necessary?” My answer involves looking at the different types of communication that take place during remote care. Remote care requires two main types of communication – synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous communication happens in real time, like a live video call or phone conversation. This gives patients a sense of immediate connection with their healthcare provider.

As for the tools? Look no further than heads-up video display (think teleconferencing!) and audio capabilities (like good old-fashioned telephone calls). ️Note: While chat functions can be useful, they require careful management to ensure it’s a licensed clinician delivering information, as patients may doubt anonymous advice.

Moving on to asynchronous communication, this isn’t happening in real-time but is equally important in remote care. It provides flexibility for both the patient and clinician as messages can be sent and responded at one’s convenience.

The list includes videos (patients recording themselves doing exercises), audios (voicemails perhaps?), or text responses on secure messaging platforms or emails. ️A quick note about texting asynchronously – it allows for measured, thoughtful responses from clinicians, which can boost patients’ confidence that they’re speaking with an actual professional.

Key Takeaways for Communication Tools for Telehealth:

  • Synchronous Communication = Heads-Up Video Display + Audio Capabilities.
  • Asynchronous Communication = Videos + Audios + Texting.

Remember these key insights next time you strategize your remote care plan.



Communication Tools for Telehealth & Remote Care via Digital Platforms

The digital age has transformed how we communicate, and this change is also reshaping the healthcare industry. As more health professionals provide remote care through various digital platforms such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR) or telehealth portals, communication has become a critical aspect of patient-care. This blog post will look at two types of communication tools needed in providing effective remote care: synchronous and asynchronous.


Synchronous Communication

Synchronous communication refers to real-time interaction between the healthcare professional and the patient. It’s like having a face-to-face conversation but through a screen or phone call. Two methods stand out in this category video conferencing and audio calls.

  • Video Conferencing: The most common tool that comes to mind when thinking about remote care is video conferencing solutions. These are platforms that allow patients to virtually ‘meet’ with their doctors just like they would in an office setting, providing visual cues that can be crucial for diagnosis.
  • Audio Calls: Sometimes, going “old school” may still be the best route – traditional telephone calls offer immediate auditory connection between patient and doctor without any need for internet access or advanced technological devices.

A third possibility under synchronous communication could be chat systems; however, it might not always inspire trust from patients unless there’s proof that its indeed their licensed clinician on the other end rather than an automated bot service provider.


Asynchronous Communication

In contrast to synchronous communications which require both parties to participate simultaneously, asynchronous forms of contact don’t need instant feedback allowing clinicians time for thoughtful responses.This method provides flexibility as one party can send information at their convenience while waiting for another party’s response later on.There are three key categories under this method: Video messages,audio messages,and text-based messaging systems.


Videos remain highly useful even in asynchronous settings.For instance,a patient can record videos demonstrating physical issues theyre experiencing.The clinician then reviews these recordings at their leisure,and sends back either a video,audio or text response.Similarly voicemails work well too as they offer potential benefits such as tone inflection which may help convey empathy or clarify medical instructions.

Text-Based Messaging Systems

This system works better asynchronously because it allows measured,timely yet considerate responses.Clinicians can take time responding thoughtfully increasing credibility among patients.Rather than receiving instantaneous replies,the delayed response suggests careful consideration by your healthcare provider enhancing overall confidence levels.


What types of communication tools for telehealth and remote care do you use?


For more content like this, check out our Insights Page and check out The Better Outcomes Show. Or if you want to humanize healthcare through your business or organization, learn how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help here! You can also schedule a call with Rafi to discuss your company’s positioning strategy and brainstorm a business development plan here. Check out Rafi’s latest book, Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare, on Amazon!

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show and the author of Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare. His career trajectory includes 12+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. His work on Telehealth has been discussed in Forbes.

Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies like technology startups, platforms, SaaS companies & innovative healthcare organizations develop effective positioning strategy and business development plans through his consulting work. He also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience & healthcare innovation. In addition, Rafi also owns and operates ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic treating patients with musculoskeletal pain.

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